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Methods Enzymol. 2017;589:281-299. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Measuring and Imaging Metal Ions With Fluorescence-Based Biosensors: Speciation, Selectivity, Kinetics, and Other Issues.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States. Electronic address:
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.


Fluorescence-based biosensors have shown themselves to be a powerful tool for the study of a variety of chemical species in biological systems, notably including metal ions. This chapter provides an overview of several important issues in using such sensors to study metallobiochemistry. These issues include selectivity for the analyte over potential interferents, including those that do not themselves induce a signal, the different forms in which metal ions are found (speciation), the utility of metal ion buffers, and the importance of kinetics in studying metal ion binding reactions. Finally, the chapter briefly discusses some of the issues in understanding whole-organism distribution of metal ions and its control.


Carbonic anhydrase; Copper; Fluorescence-based biosensor; Kinetics; Metal ions; Selectivity; Speciation; Zinc

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